TikTok rising star Aaron Patterson gives us his top tips on how to get started and start rocking on the video-sharing platform.
So, you finally caved in and downloaded TikTok. Now what? After creating an account, you begin scrolling through the app’s trending page. Before you know it, you’ve posted your first video. The next morning you are reminded of your creative masterpiece when a TikTok notification pops up on your phone.
Excited, you rush to open the app in hopes that your TikTok is the newest, trending video. But even before you take your first sip of coffee, your dreams of fame are shattered.
For several months, this was my dilemma. Each video I posted never generated more than 15 views. So how did I get from 15 views and three followers to 5.8 million views and over 120,000 followers? Well, it’s actually quite simple: I just kept on posting. And through trial and error, I found what worked.
If you just joined TikTok or are looking to grow your TikTok account, here is my advice to you.
One of the things that makes an account stand out is its originality. I frequently post things that are entirely different from all the other viral videos I see. And even if it’s strange, it works – BECAUSE it is different. TikTok wants to see what you create, not what you copy. There is ingenuity in hopping onto trends! That’s if you bring your own special twist to a clip or challenge that has blown up.
Feel free to duet videos that you think will earn you a crazy number of likes! Here is an example of a trend I took advantage of and made original.
@knoltoncTook me 2,200 miles and 12 hours of traveling for this video and it definitely was worth it. ##california ##travel ##dog ##howidothings ##fyp ##foryou♬ This City – Sam Fischer
@aaroncpattersonTraveled 2,000 miles for this 😍😭🥰##foryou ##cats ##lovemypet ##thesagaends ##SpotifyWrapped ##vlogmas ##homeforchristmas ##bleeding ##brokenheart♬ This City – Sam Fischer
Know Your Audience
If you don’t know your audience, you won’t have any idea what your followers are looking for. If you have an audience that is mostly made up of 14-year-olds, for example, you don’t want to post inside jokes for ’90s kids.
TikTok offers content analytics to help you see your audience demographics, as well as the sounds and videos that your audience has been responsive to. Though these analytics are free, you must set up a Pro Account to activate this function.
To activate a TikTok Pro Account, follow these steps:
1. Click the “…” at the upper right hand of your profile.
2. Find the heading that says “Set up Pro Account.”
3. Follow the TikTok prompts until the account has been set up.
Posting consistently allows your followers to determine what they like about your videos. Consistency shows followers they are not wasting their time following your account because you will frequently be releasing videos. However, activity does not stop at posting.
It also includes your engagement with your audience! I have found that liking and responding to every comment you get brings traffic to your post as people click back to the video to see what you responded or liked.
There have been several TikToks that I thought were pretty funny, but they just weren’t good enough to make me like the video. In some cases, however, “just okay” videos with hilarious captions made me like the post. So, make sure to caption your video with something that is not only relevant to your post and followers but also complementary to your post.
It sounds crazy, but hashtags help drive your posts to the trending page! The hashtag “#foryou” has worked incredibly well for me in the past. TikTok will be clear about which hashtags are trending. So, make sure to use them. You can even create videos based on them.
This is a video we decided to make a TikTok that was taken from one of our YouTube video’s outtakes. Though the video is fairly funny and radiates “chaotic vine-energy,” the caption on this video is really what ended up bring people in.
@aaroncpattersonIT WAS NICE TO HAVE THE WHOLE FAMILY FOR DINNER. 😡😤 ##foryou ##overcookedchicken ##overcookedpasta ##f♬ DINNER TIME – aaroncpatterson
50% Quality – 50% Content
I have found that the higher the quality of your video, the more likely people are to continue watching. But the better your video content, the more likely they are to like it. The best TikTok balances the two by drawing viewers in with the quality resolution of a video and holds them with rich content within the video. That being said, the chances of a vertical video going viral are better than the chances of a horizontal video going viral. There are viral exceptions to videos with low quality, no content, or horizontal layouts. But you cannot go wrong sticking to this 50% Quality – 50% Content balance.
An example of 100% content…
An example of 100% quality…
An example of 50% Quality – 50% Content…
@dannmaceLet’s get this heard by @tonesand_i ##dancemonkey ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ original sound – dannmace
Find Your Niche/Enjoy It
Work on developing a TikTok personality profile. A good way to do this is by identifying your “thing” when it comes to Tiktok. Some TikTok creators are known for their dances. Others are known for their magic tricks. And, still, others are known for their videos breaking glass cups in their kitchen.
@thegaspasserbreaking a glass every day until i stop losing followers, day 3 ##willitbreak ##foryou ##4u ##ThatsWhatILike♬ origineel geluid – xmuserxz
My thing is a mixture of storytime clips and reaction videos. When your account has developed a “thing” it is known for, it will give people a reason to wait expectantly for your next video in the series. Lastly, make sure to enjoy it. If you are not enjoying creating TikToks, more often than not, your content will reflect that.
@aaroncpattersonMy friend reacts to my morning 😂 ##foryou ##rip ##storytime ##howtoadult ##AsGoodAsTheOG ##CleanFreshHype ##SonicSpeedMeUp♬ original sound – aaroncpatterson
I wish you the best in turning your dreams of fame into a waking reality!
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